My Microsoft Vista Development Environment

Doing software development on the Windows platform, both Windows Forms and Web Development forces us to try out new platforms as they become available.  I have been trying to get a decent virtual machine setup of Microsoft Vista for quite sometime.  I tried various builds in pre-Beta 2 but each one seemed to not do well running under Microsoft Virtual PC. Vista either ran too slow or not at all.

Microsoft recently released the Vista July CTP (build 5472), since it had been a while since I last tried it I figured I would give this build a try.  I setup a virtual machine with 1G of RAM and the maxed out 16G virtual hard disk.  I use Daemon Toolsto allow my MSDN Subscribers 3.4G Vista DVD ISO to be used by Virtual PC.

I started the Vista install off of the DVD ISO and let it run.  It asked my for my license key which came from the MSDN Subscribers site and once entered it took off and ran from there until complete, about an hour later.  I was prompted for a username and password to use for the default user and once created I was prompted to enter it in.  It was interesting what happened next, the screen came up and said it was setting my Personalized Settings, which went on and on.  After waiting for a half hour or so I shut the VM down and tried again but only got to Personalized Settings again.  It turns out the problem was with Vista not refreshing the screen properly when Virtual PC was not in full-screen mode.  Once I did this all was well.   

I wanted to get Vista installed so I could start working with the WinFX also known as .NET Framework 3.0 and “Orcas”.  The technology coming out of Microsoft in this next release looks really promising and as everyone knows, version 3.0 from Microsoft is the killer release.  I found a great blog pointing out which beta bits to use with which operating system you have if you want to start working with the new .NET Framework 3.0, and/or Vista and/or “Orcas”, you can find this information from Tom Archer’s blog.

I am sure anyone reading this blog is well aware of what the next version of the .NET Framework holds for us including; Windows Communication Foundation (WCF aka Indigo), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF aka Avalon), Windows CardSpace and Windows Workflow Foundation.  You can see details of these at The Microsoft .NET 3.0 Framework Community site.

I installed Visual Studio 2005 on my new Vista VPC, installed some of my small Windows Forms applications and all worked well.  I plan to try out a web project or two in the coming weeks and get a change to start using WCF for some SOA ideas I have.  I will report back my findings too.

I also took the time to play with IE7 on Vista and have to say it is a really nice application that is well laid out and performs as I would expect in a Virtual PC.  All of the web sites I went to, including several I wrote, worked flawlessly in IE7.  I look forward to the release of this browser from Microsoft.

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